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Multidrug and toxin extrusion 2 (MATE2-K (SLC47A2)), a polyspecific organic cation exporter, facilitates the renal elimination of the antidiabetes drug metformin. In this study, we characterized genetic variants of MATE2-K, determined their association with metformin response, and elucidated their impact by means of a comparative protein structure model. Four nonsynonymous variants and four variants in the MATE2-K basal promoter region were identified from ethnically diverse populations. Two nonsynonymous variants-c.485C>T and c.1177G>A-were shown to be associated with significantly lower metformin uptake and reduction in protein expression levels. MATE2-K basal promoter haplotypes containing the most common variant, g.-130G>A (>26% allele frequency), were associated with a significant increase in luciferase activities and reduced binding to the transcriptional repressor myeloid zinc finger 1 (MZF-1). Patients with diabetes who were homozygous for g.-130A had a significantly poorer response to metformin treatment, assessed as relative change in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) (-0.027 (-0.076, 0.033)), as compared with carriers of the reference allele, g.-130G (-0.15 (-0.17, -0.13)) (P=0.002). Our study showed that MATE2-K plays a role in the antidiabetes response to metformin.